Administration

  • Rebecca Wallace-Segall

    Executive Director
    Founder
    Rebecca Wallace-Segall

    Rebecca founded Writopia Lab in April 2007, and currently directs the national organization. She designed the organization’s mission and no-barriers sliding scale model, as well as its instructional approach, which has been embraced by thousands of children, teens, schools, and nonprofit partners across the country. In 2015, she established Writopia’s Training Institute that serves the youth development sector and the Department of Education and established The Positive Literacy Collaborative in partnership with Goddard Riverside in 2019 both with the support of the Pinkerton Foundation. Rebecca has lead the organization’s growth and impact in NYC, while establishing and overseeing its labs in the DC Metro region, NY Metro North, Chicago, Los Angeles, and The Bay Area.

    She presents and curates panels for schools, events, conferences, and parents' organizations on a variety of topics including "Building Safe Spaces: The Power of Creative Writing for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma," "How to Inspire the Writer Within Your Child," “Partnering for Impact,” and "How to Love Writing for High School and College Admittance." She oversees communications and development at Writopia Lab.

    In the founding five years of Writopia Lab, Rebecca won multiple teaching awards including the Scholastic Awards' 2012 Ovation Inspired Teacher Award for submitting the most outstanding senior portfolios on the national level and for "developing a method of working with students that inspires them to create original work that embodies their unique, personal voice.... Because of [her] tutelage... these students are now empowered to bring that voice into the broader world..." She has also won the 2008, 2009, and 2011 National Gold Apple Teacher Award for "submitting the most outstanding group of submissions on the national level" to the Scholastic Art & Writing event.

    Rebecca oversees impact assessment at Writopia. She studied at Harvard Business School's Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations for organizational leaders in 2015 and continues to oversee Writopia’s impact assessment team's practices as a Youth Inc partner. She recently won a 2021 scholarship to attend Columbia University’s certificate program in business excellence for nonprofit leaders.

    Rebecca also serves on Writopia Lab’s Board of Directors and is thrilled to have a team of accomplished board members from various social and business sectors, to help shape the future of writing education, and Writopia’s literary arts, youth development culture.

    Rebecca began writing for publications in 1997. She has contributed opeds about education and writing to the The Atlantic Monthly and The Wall Street Journal, and thought pieces to The Huffington Post and The Nation, along with five cover stories (and other pieces) to the Village Voice.

  • Tom Flynn

    Director of Business Operations
    Tom Flynn

    Tom has worked in higher education, business consulting, and creative management. He is also a seasoned professional writer. Tom studied Philosophy and Peace Studies at Siena College and earned an M.S. in Communication and Rhetoric at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. At Rensselaer, he became Creative Director of a research group that created interactive multimedia learning software. He also worked on a variety of K-12 multimedia initiatives and taught a graduate level seminar for teachers on technology in the classroom. As a management consultant, Tom worked with a wide range of innovative technology companies and large corporate clients. In a past life, Tom studied with Marilyn Robinson and Amy Hempel at New York State Writers Institute Graduate Creative Writing Workshop at Skidmore College. He has written and edited for Pavement Saw, Guitar School Magazine, Hudson Valley Writers Guild, and Scyre. While living outside Boston, he wrote about the arts and nightlife for the Boston Phoenix publication Stuff @ Night. Also, during a more than 15-year association, Tom published countless feature length articles, interview pieces and reviews on music, culture and the arts for the alternative newsweekly Metroland in New York's Capital region.

  • Janelle M. Williams

    Associate Director of Outreach and Programs
    Janelle M. Williams

    Janelle M. Williams has been a part of the Writopia Lab team since 2016. At Writopia, she works as an instructor and a program manager. She manages private sessions and co-manages the Write-to-Recognition Program and the Joy and Literacy in After School Program. With the support of Executive Director Rebecca Wallace-Segall and the team, she founded Writopia Lab's annual Teen Writers' Summit. She enjoys teaching on-site and off-site workshops, some in Title 1 schools and a residential treatment facility. She is enthusiastic about sustaining safe, diverse, and socially conscious workshops at Writopia Lab. Janelle received her BA from Howard University and her MFA in Creative Writing from Manhattanville College. In 2017, she received a fellowship from Kimbilio Fiction. As a southern writer from Decatur, Georgia, Janelle's lyrical stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, SmokeLong Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Split Lip Magazine, midnight & indigo, Kweli, and elsewhere.

  • Jocelyn Gottschalk

    HR Manager
    Jocelyn Gottschalk

    Jocelyn is the HR Manager at Writopia Lab and has been delighted to enthusiastically support this mission. She has a BA in theater, an MA in Museum Studies—Costumes and Textiles—and a certification from SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. She has many years of experience in HR management and operations in the creative industries of publishing, music, and higher education. Prodigiously curious, she loves to learn by reading, discussing, sharing, and doing. Jocelyn is endlessly inspired by the human creative spirit and is grateful to work with the amazing people at Writopia Lab who engage with that spirit every day.

  • Alison Fortune

    Assistant Office Manager
    (and D & D Dungeon Master)
    Alison Fortune

    Alison is so excited to join the Writopia Lab team! After initially starting at Writopia as the Office Management Intern, she is thrilled to come on board as the Assistant Office Manager. Alison is a Washington, DC native who currently lives in Brooklyn. In May 2018 she graduated from Reed College, located in Portland, Oregon, with a B.A. in Theater and Literature. Upon moving to New York City, she dove into the theater world, working as a PA for 59E59th Theaters and stage managing for Cave Theater, Access Theater, Art House Theater, and the Paradise Factory. However, she couldn't be happier to start applying her organizational skills to Writopia's mission. In her free time she likes to read Roosevelt biographies, explore the city with her friends, and work on her miniature building.

  • Tasnim Hussain

    Program Coordinator
    Instructor

    Tasnim Hussain is a creative writing and essay writing instructor at Writopia Lab, where she offers support to young writers throughout their writing process. Tasnim graduated as salutatorian from Hunter College, where she majored in English with minors in Education and Sociology. She has taught in public schools throughout the city, working with students in many different contexts and settings in English classrooms. In awe of the creative genius of Writopia Lab writers, she finds herself constantly learning from their passion and enthusiasm. In her free time, Tasnim enjoys writing short fiction and free verse poetry, and she has been published in GRLQUASH, a bi-annual literary magazine, and Hunter College's The OliveTree Review.

  • Andriy Repik

    IT and Operations Specialist
    Andriy Repik

    Andriy joined the Writopia Lab community as a counselor in 2017. Since then he has had a number of positions with Writopia working as an intern, assistant instructor, a dungeon master, and most recently has joined Writopia full time as IT and Operations Specialist. Andriy recently graduated from Hunter College majoring in Computer Science and minoring in English. He has developed a number of websites and other computer applications. He is super excited to continue working with Writopia and ensuring that all their tech needs are taken care of.

  • Alex Tlatelpa

    Accounting and Operations Specialist
    Picture of Alex Tlatelpa

    Alex is excited to join Writopia Lab as the new Accounting and Operations Specialist. He brings five years of experience in accounting and bookkeeping.

    Alex graduated from Brooklyn College where he majored in accounting and was active in student clubs that helped promote social justice awareness on campus. Some of Alex’s favorite hobbies include reading, studying history, and cooking. He hopes to someday write a cookbook that features the authentic Oaxacan recipes that he grew up eating during his visits to Mexico. Inspired by Writopia Lab’s mission, Alex hopes to use his background in accounting to support and contribute to Writopia’s amazing team.

  • Rita Feinstein

    Program Manager
    Rita Feinstein

    Rita is excited to join the Writopia Lab family! She received her MFA from Oregon State University, where she taught composition and creative writing. Her work has appeared in The Cossack Review, Permafrost, and Grist, among other publications, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets. Life on Dodge, her debut poetry chapbook, is available from Brain Mill Press. She lives with her husband, who is a lawyer, and her dog, who is not.

  • Samantha Stone

    Instructor
    Registration Support

    Samantha Stone began with Writopia Lab as a JLA volunteer in 2016 and has taught creative writing and essay workshops since the summer of 2017. In the Fall of 2019 she joined the administrative team part-time, helping with registration, and is delighted to work more closely with the team. Samantha is a New York City based playwright and theatre artist, who focuses on creating theatre for social change in both national and international platforms. She received finalist status for the Leah Ryan Fund For Emerging Women Writers in 2019 and for the Ivoryton Playhouse’s POWER PASSION PROSE Women Playwrights’ Initiative for 2018. Her work has been produced at the Walkerspace at Soho Rep, Primary Stages, and as part of the 20th annual New York International Fringe Festival. In 2013, she earned a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the George Washington University. She has an MFA from the Fordham/Primary Stages Playwriting program, which she earned in 2018, and currently teaches as an adjunct professor in Fordham’s English department.

  • Malcolm Knowles

    Program Manager, The Writopia Music Lab
    Creative Writing and Songwriting Instructor
    Malcolm Knowles

    Malcolm Knowles has been part of the Writopia Lab team since 2018. He is a writer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Houston, Texas, where he learned to record and release music during his teenage years. He later attended Sarah Lawrence College with a focus in Jazz Guitar, Composition, and Radio. During the summer, Malcolm teaches Creative Writing and Songwriting at both the Writopia Full Day camp and WriCampia, and is the Division Head of Upper Boys at WriCampia. After two years of developing the Writopia Songwriting Studio and its camp electives, Malcolm co-designed, launched, and began overseeing the Writopia Music Foundry in 2021. Both programs are offered as part of Writopia's Music Lab. During the school year, Malcolm helps young and teen writers navigate the process of Essay Writing, Creative Writing, and Songwriting. When not teaching, you can often find Malcolm next to the closest musical instrument.

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